Penguin B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Latvia
Penguin B is a multirole small unmanned aerial vehicle designed and manufactured by UAV Factory of the Republic of Latvia. It captures real time intelligence data and transmits to the portable ground control station (PGCS) by a digital data link.
The maiden flight of the vehicle took place in August 2011. Parachute recovery test of the aircraft was also held in August 2011.
UAV Factory upgraded the Penguin B with an optional 7.5 litre capacity fuel tank and 80W on-board generator system in February 2011 to increase its endurance from six hours to more than 20.
The vehicle was displayed at the Eurosatory Defence Expo held in Paris in June 2010.
Penguin B UAV design
The Penguin B is designed to flexibly suit both military and commercial applications. The 2.2m long and 3.3m wide aerial vehicle is designed to operate in hostile environments of rain and snow. It can take-off either from a runway or a car top launcher (CTL) and recovered by a large parachute.
The CTL is mounted on top of the car by applying standard THULE Rapid Aero rack mounts. It costs one-third compared to that of conventional catapult launching technique. The launch takes place when the smart hook lever arrangement in the CTL unhooks the aerial vehicle once the car reaches 70km/h speed. The PGCS operator provides autopilot command to the aerial vehicle, facilitating its flight.
Features of the Penguin B UAV
The Penguin B features a modular composite airframe, detachable V-tail and payload bay, high lift flap system, GPS bay, aluminium tail boom joints, large access hatches, heat radiators, push pull electrical connectors, DZUS fasteners and two-bladed propeller at the rear fuselage.
It is also fitted with an electro-optic camera underneath the centreline fuselage section to capture imagery of the field it surveys.
The vehicle also boasts a bartering payload module underneath the front fuselage. It is packed into a watertight and robust transportation case weighing approximately 27kg. The case features obliterable lid, tools, bolts, internal padded stringers and Velcro straps. It is 1.3m long, 0.7m wide and 0.54m high.
The lithium polymer charger incorporated in the Penguin B acts as a backup battery during pre-flight checks, low engine speeds and engine failure. The fuselage covers are sealed with soft neoprene to protect the avionics and payloads of the vehicle in a harsh environment.
Sensors and navigation capabilities
The Penguin B is equipped with electro-optic (EO) and infra-red (IR) sensors. It can be controlled either manually from the PGCS or through autonomous mode.
The UAV is powered by a four-stroke Honda engine rated at 1.3hp to 2.5hp of output power.
The aircraft is fitted with a fixed tricycle type landing gear comprising two main gear legs, one dirigible nose gear leg and oleo pneumatic shock absorbers.
Portable ground control station
The PGCS is designed and manufactured by UAV Factory of Latvia. It can process, retrieve, store and monitor real time imagery captured by the vehicle's payload cameras. A single operator can control the vehicle and supervise its payloads.
The PGCS can be easily configured for autopilot operations. It features a 13-inch CF-31 laptop of Panasonic make, a 17-inch secondary touch screen payload display, advance battery power systems, GPS tracking antennas, video receivers, RC-transmitter mouse, an optional joystick and other auxiliary equipment.
The length and width of the PGCS are 0.25m and 0.83m respectively. The height is 0.53m.
The Penguin B can fly at a maximum speed of 129km/h. The cruise and stall speeds of the aircraft are 79km/h and 46km/h respectively. The service ceiling is 5,000m. The take-off run is 30m. The aircraft can fly in air for a maximum of 20 hours.
The Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Market 2011-2021
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